Regardless of the fads, high school-like cliques, daily gossip or the boredom we suffered some weekends, most of us will treasure our years at Rider. Many of us will remember the stressful evenings of paper tweaking, the planning and preparations that went into our biggest events and the times we shared with our friends. While we may not remember what a reverse transcriptase inhibitor is, we will have memories of the people we met, the things we learned from those people and the plain old good times we had. Because of our own experience at Rider, “we are proud of this special place, entrusted to us by past generations, nurtured by us for future ones … and through the time we spend here, we are forever joined to each other and Rider University.”
The Rider experience is not identical to any other university. Yes, we are in college, reading textbooks and learning similar ideas, but studying at Rider is unlike studying elsewhere. The opportunities for leadership and extracurricular involvement are open for those with enthusiasm. Whether it’s a passion for spirituality, academics or even math, students have the opportunity to participate in many of the hundred or so organizations that exist. Other colleges and universities can certainly provide similar ways for their students to get involved, but the approach that this close-knit community takes in fostering these opportunities is unique.
We have enjoyed our time here and “we are proud of this special place, entrusted to us by past generations.” We realize the need to protect the future of Rider for others. Sustainability is the new buzzword, and students and administrators alike have brainstormed green initiatives. Senior student leaders earnestly mentor first- and second-year students to take the lead in the years after their departure.
In the midst of our efforts to ensure the future of Rider, we will not overlook the time we called our friend after a group project meeting to vent about that one person. We will not disregard the days of fieldwork and observation that inspire us to become teachers. We will not underestimate the days we worked with rats in the labs and sadly, what became of our rat subjects. We will not disregard our pride on closing night of a production after we’ve expended ourselves to mold a memorable presentation.
We may reminisce about the “way Rider was,” but we will never forget the late night chats we had with our friends. We will never forget seeing a friend in Daly’s unexpectedly. We will remember the fun of traveling to a nearby coffee shop or pizza place. We will memorialize that we were students at Rider when its poignant history was in the making. We will not forget the hardships that we faced and the unity that bound us together.
On graduation day many students will make new memories. Some students will joyfully glimpse at their peers, recognizing all of their successes here. Other students will blissfully smirk and think, “I can’t wait to leave.” Regardless of the category you will fall into when it’s your time to depart, “we are proud of this special place, entrusted to us by past generations, nurtured by us for future ones … and through the time we spend here, we are forever joined to each other and Rider University.”